Inspired by

Three Things Challenge, 03 August 2018

Three Things Challenge: spatula, drama, brownie

Saturday Mix – Double Take, 4 August 2018

This week we are seeing double with ‘Double Take’.

The ‘Double Take’ challenge focuses on the use of homophones* to build your writing piece. You have two sets of homophones and you are challenged to use all of them in your response – which can be poetry or prose.

Our homophone sets this week are:

heal – to cure of disease
heel – hind part of foot
he’ll – contraction of “he will”


lain – past tense of lay
lane – narrow road


By Neel Anil Panicker

Once word got out that a murder had taken place, and that the victim was none other than the very controversial forty something Miss Raphael, the lane outside her duplex villa that overlooked the Arabian Sea was choc-o-bloc with ever nosy neigbours and sundry hangers on, not to say the ubiquitious melange of official, semi-official and unofficial newshounds of all ilks and denominations.

A few, the intrepid among them had already set up large sized cicrular discs and were beaming non stop exclusive “Breaking News” with pushy reporters, mikes in hand, hurling an array of never ending questions at whoever claimed to have ‘inside info’ about the crime or the murdered woman, or anything even remotely related to both that could be deemed newsworthy.

“Her full name’s Raphael Mathews. Mathews was her ex-husband, claimed one.”

Another a few meters away, stared into another camera and thundered, “She was a witch…kept to herself…practised black magic.”

A third, this time an eighty something toothless man mumbled, “I know her, Have known for past 30 years. She’s a good woman. A good cook too. Made delicious brownies.”.

Standing at a distance, Detective Chacko watched keenly the unfolding drama.

Mulitiple voices, mutlipile opinions.

What was fact and what was fiction?

He lit a Camel and inhaled deeply, blowing out smoke rings into the dew laden morning air.

It had been fifteen minutes since the Forensics team had come with their hi-tech equipments. The team of five had put on gloves, scanned the house, and everything in its vicinity with fine combed precision.

What had they gathered so far?

He began to make a mental checklist.

First the body.

It was found lain on the kitchen floor, the around five feet heavy frame clothed in a dazzling red maxie, the legs spreadeagled like a woman’s on the delivery table, the right hand still holding on to a wooden spatula that looked as if it had been liberally dipped in a bowl of custard cream.

A half baked brownie cake rested in an oven whose lid rested beside it.

In the only other room stood a wall televsion that was tuned in to a religious channel, with a well known faith healer mouthing homelies to an audience who one could make out by their sunken eyes and depraved and deprived visages seemed were the flotsam and jetsaum of life, theones society had given the short thrift.

On the granite floor lay a couple of yoga mats and around them were several scented candles and incense sticks even as strong smell of camphor hovered all over the high ceilinged heavily curtained room.

A box of bright red powder that looked not unlike vermillion lay scattered nearby and on them was etched what looked the heel marks of a child.

Who was the child? Had he come here for a heal? So, was this some kind of mumbo jumbo healing session that had turned horribly wrong?

But then there was also a near ready cake in the kitchen. Besides, a woman lay dead with apparently no visible injury marks on her body.

The evidences were not really matching up.

There was definitely eerie about the entire thing.

Detective Chacko thought for a while, then scratched his week long pepper and salt stubble, and stepped towards the waiting crowd of onlookers.

His hawkish eyes went searched for the man he had earlier heard saying somehting about the woman being a good cook, of having known her to make delicious cakes.

He’ll be a good staring point, he inferred.

#neelanilpanicker #crime #detectivechacko #murder #arabiansea #ThreeThingsChallenge #SaturdayMixMelange #fiction #589words

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